tv State Department U.S. Speaking with One Voice on North Korea CSPAN August 9, 2017 2:36pm-3:18pm EDT
>> good morning, my dear people of guam. i know that we woke up to the immediate reports of north korea's talk of revenge on the united states, and this so-called newfound technology that allows them to target guam. i am working with homeland security -- >> will show you that later. our scheduled briefing getting underway. >> we will start talking that something taking place in togo this afternoon. place byat was taken the u.s. trade representative. today, robert lighthizer and com sub-saharaned the economic trade and cooperation forum in togo. and grace together foreign minister's -- it brings together
foreign ministers from several other nations. they intend to lay the foundation for mutual prosperity between africa and the united states. we are focused on building a more robust sub-saharan trade relationship. the united states is working with our partners to deepen fre e, fair, and reciprocal trade. that is all that i have in togo. i will take your questions. would you like to start? >> understanding the importance of togo. >> turnaround and say that to the folks in togo. they say it is important. >> i am not taking away from the importance of togo. i would like to estimates of the else. i will let you guess. north korea. can you explain to the american
public, and perhaps the rest of the world, exactly who they should be listening to in the u.s. government when it comes to north korea and what the united states policy and posture is? >> the united states is on the same page, whether it is the white house, the state department, or the department of defense, we are speaking with one voice. the world is speaking with one voice. we saw that as it came out of the un security council less than a week ago. that united states along with other nations condemn north korea for their destabilizing activities. two icbm launches in less than a month. the world remains concerned about that. >> you don't think that the president's comments are at odds with those of the secretary and other officials, or is this a good cop, bad cop
routine we are seeing, trying to coax the maximum you can get from the north korean government? >> we have talked about our pressure campaign, backed by many other nations. we see that pressure campaign working. it is ratcheting up the pressure on north korea. the president spoke about this yesterday, secretary tillerson spoke about this. the secretary spoke about the president's words. --said the president is put is sending a strong message to north korea and the kind of language the north korea understands. the secretary has spoken how the president is an effective spokesman. but the president's words. >> this is my last one. does that mean that you have come to the determination that the only way to get through to un is with the same
bombastic rhetoric he uses? >> there are lots of ways to get through to kim jong-un and his regime. our issue is not with the people of the dprk, but with the administration itself. when the president, secretary mattis, and secretary tillerson agree that the top security issue is the safety and security of americans, and dprk, and the destabilizing activities, the nuclear and ballistics weapons programs that continue to take place. >> so, in the president's remarks, and the secretary's comments about the president's remarks, saying it was the kind of like which the north korea would understand, almost o-matic -- diplomatic-speak, is that an approach that the state department was involved in? >> the state department and the
president have ongoing conversations. they spoke earlier today. this pressure campaign with north korea is something that we are all in agreement on. nothing has changed in that regard. >> can you extrapolate? the president and the secretary spoke today? >> they did. >> this was in guam? transit, as he is on his way back to the united states. at what point and at what time, i amateur. >> can you clarify -- i am not sure. >> can you clarify the time? >> i am not sure. >> it happened oen route? >> it was within the last way for hours. >> do you have any idea how long it was? >> they spoke for about an hour. >> two calls since monday? >> i would have to check on the first call. >> there was a call of an hour with general kelly, the
president, and the secretary on monday morning, east coast time. >> right, so two calls now. >> could i follow up? the secretary's call was well after the fire and fury language. senator mccain and others, republicans and democrats, have complained it was bombastic. not helpful, said senator mccain. no other president, not eisenhower, not reagan, would have used such language. the implication from the critics is that the president's lang which implied the use of nuclear force. is that the way the secretary read it? did the secretary have any warning from the earlier phone call that this would happen? did he only speak to the president in the aftermath? >> he spoke to the president after the fact. people look at this and some
consider comments to have been alarming. i would go back to this. let's consider what is alarming. two icbm tests in less than a month, two nuclear tests last year. when there is an earthquake in china, i get enough and calls from you asking if it were an other nuclear test. that is a big it is. let me finish, please. it is a big deal, is a concern to the world, not just the united states. those are alarming actions, provocative actions on the part of north korea. >> my question is, given those provocations from north korea, which has been belligerent in the extreme, is it helpful or unhelpful for the president to use the kind of language we have seen previously coming from kim jong-un, not presidents of the
united states. izzy exacerbate -- is he exacerbating it? >> the president spoke to kim jong-un in the kind of language that kim jong-un will understand. the pressure campaign, we see it working. the international community is in agreement with the united states and many partners and allies in putting pressure on north korea. the secretary is coming back. they have tremendous success. i know that you want to obsess over statements, and all of that but make a lot of noise, what is important is that this diplomatic pressure at the meeting of the 10 asian nations, and the united states, came together, and put out a joint statement. we are all singing from the same hymn book. >> a lot of us have reported on
the success of that effort at the u.n. it does not take away from the question. a lack of interagency process with a presidential statement that has perhaps undercut the previous success. >> i don't know that i would agree with you on that. next question. >> all options on the table. of policy?ew kind the united be that states would say, we will use whatever options available to us, including, presumably, aggressive action. >> we have had a few statements out today. secretary mattis has issued a statement. i will read a bit of it to you. the united states and our allies have demonstrated capabilities and an unquestionable commitment to protect ourselves from an
attack. kim jong-un should take heed from the un security council's unified voice. the dprk must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons. i think the united states is talking with one voice. >> i take issue with your use of the word obsess. we are not obsessing. this is the president of the united states threatening a nuclear-armed country, whetyher you want to exit -- whether you want to accept it or not, with the words fire and fury, the likes of which the world has never seen. it is not obsessing to want to know if further clarification of what that means and whether or not it means you are preparing to send fire and fury raining down on the north korean regime. >> i will let the president's
statement stand for itself. >> it is not obsessing to want to know more. >> i see a packed room of of journalists, and normally there are not half as many. that shows a greater indication. >> we are all here for you. [laughter] >> sir, your name? >> steve dorsey. a quick change in topic. can you tell us about the incidents that have been going on in havana affecting u.s. government workers there? >> we are certainly aware of what has happened there. give me one second here. bit's why we got a little of a late start getting recent updates on those. some u.s. government personnel working at our embassy in havana , cuba, on official duties, they were working on behalf of the u.s. embassy there, they have reported incidents that have caused a variety of
physical symptoms. i cannot give you a ton of information, but we don't have any definitive answers about the source or the cause of what we consider to be incidents. 23,an tell you that on myay the state department took further action. we asked to officials representing the embassy of cuba to depart the united states. we take the situation seriously. about the things we talk is the safety and security of american citizens, at home and abroad. it is under investigation now. >> if the u.s. does not have a definitive answer on the cause or source of the incidents, why didn't ask late cuban abhisit officials to depart the u.s. -- embassyit ask the cuban officials to depart the u.s.? >> i cannot tell you the exact number. >> tens, dozens?
>> i am not going to characterize it. i do not believe it was that large. we had to bring some americans home, or some chose to go home. we have asked two humans to leave the united states. >> this is a reciprocity thing? >> i will not collect as such, but we asked two people to go home. >> how long has this been going on? >> we first learned about it in late 2016. >> who is leading the investigation? >> the u.s. government is investigating ths. i am not going to get into it. which law enforcement agencies we have that would be concerned about this. >> was it state department employees? >> my understanding is that it has only affected state department employees. it hasn't affected private citizens.
we take this incident very seriously. >> what is the incident? >> we don't know exactly -- >> this is from 2016. you don't know what the incident is? >> this requires providing medical examinations to these people. when they started reporting what i will call symptoms, it took time to figure out what it was. this is ongoing. we provide medical care and concern to those who believe they have been affected by it. >> getting back to my question on reciprocity. i know that you do not want to use the word. were the two cubans told or asked to leave because of a similar or proportional drawdown in the u.s. staff in havana because of the symptoms? >> i am not going to characterize it that way. i can tell you that two were asked to leave and they did. what you are trying to do is
draw an equivalency. two guys were asked to go home and therefore x number of americans were brought home. >> i'm not saying that is a direct proportion, although, maybe the russians might disagree on that. the reason that they left is that you had to reduce your staff, or had ve the people who left havana been replaced? >> i'm not sure if the people who left havana has been replaced. i know we have given our employees a chance to come home if they would like to. they have jobs here. let me mention one or two things about this. the cuban government has a responsibility and an obligation to protect our diplomats. that is why this is such a major concern and why we take this so seriously. i hope i have answered your question. anything else on cuba? medical problems
ongoing, or was it a short-term thing? >> you have heard me say this before. when we talk about medical issues about americans, we don't get into it. i can tell you it was a cause of great concern for us. it has caused a variety of physical symptoms in these american citizens. we take those incident seriously, and there is an investigation underway. >> can you say life-threatening? the physical symptom was not death, was it? >> it was not. >> non-life-threatening? >> non-life-threatening. i will leave it at that. anything else on cuba? we are done with cuba, correct? let's go to north korea. >> north korea reportedly released a canadian hostage after 2.5 years in detention. do you have a response?
and with the american detainees, what is the status of negotiations? >> i had mentioned a while ago about cuba that the safety and security of americans is our top concern. we now have a travel ban that fors place september 1 americans who wish to travel to north korea. we continue to have a travel warning. it is a good opportunity to remind people that we have a travel warning for anyone who should attempt to go there right now. we know that there are three americans being held in north korea. our ambassador was there in june. that is when he was able to bring home otto warmbier. at that time, he was able to meet with and put yeyes on other americans who were being held or detained. we work through our protecting
power, sweden, to gain access to americans being held over there. it is an ongoing concern. >> have their been any contact since the ambassador's visit? >> not that i am aware of. let's stay with dprk before we move on. >> i want to go back to the statement from mattis that you brought up. in the last sentence, it says the regime would lose any arms race or conflict that it initiates. does that mean first strike is off the table? >> i think that would be a d.o .d. question. >> as far as the north korean ambassador, there has not been one even nominated. you would think among all of these to black talks, an -- of these diplomatic talks, a nomination would help. have there been any talks of a nomination? >> the nomination would have to
come from the white house. i would have to refer you to the white house. i can tell you, we have a charge d'affairs who is serving their. mark napper is his name. he has a ton of experience in korea. he served at the embassy in seoul since 2015. he has served other tours of duty. i spoke to other people around the building about him. they love him and say he is fantastic. he is on the ground and i'm confident that it is in solid hands until the president nominates summary for that position. japan,he ambassador to is he there? >> i believe he is. he was sworn in, confirmed, sworn in. i believe he is there now. i'm not sure where he is at this moment. my understanding is that he is
on the job, but we will get back to you before the end of this briefing. let's finish up with dprk. anything else? >> one more. >> hi, how are you? >> there is a term coined by the south korean media, which is korea passing. it reflects concerns about the u.s. in bypassing south korea in dealing with north korea by mainly talking to china, ruyssssia, and japan. these are concerns that have persisted. i wanted to ask what the state department response to those concerns would be, especially given that south koreans would be the biggest victims. >> we have a very good and strong relationship with the republic of korea. secretary tillerson just met with the foreign minister a few days ago on the margins of the
regional forum. our nation and the republic of korea have a strong relationship. that is something that has not changed. alliancelion's par -- partners. that has that changed. we have constant dialogue. ongoing.versations are anything else on dprk? sir, hi. >> i believe you characterized it as a pressure campaign which means that all options are on the table, and i am assuming that also means diplomatic pressure. >> that is why we are here as the state department. we focus on diplomatic pressure. >> would like to a -- i would like to add two dimensions to
that, and i'm wondering if you can elaborate. the united kingdom has never . treatyigned the u.n banning nuclear weapons, and the united states has been a strong proponent of making sure that nuclear weapons are confined. pressureid that, the tactics, or the pressure campaign as you say, it makes the jcpo that much more important in the nuclear deal with iran. >> let me first clear up that there is a misperception about what the pressure campaign is. for the folks here all the time, i'm sorry if we have been over this a few times. the pressure campaign includes -- we saw some success in asia
over the past few days. it consists of talking with nations around the world, asking them to do more to put pressure on north korea, and one of the ways those nations are putting pressure on north korea is by kicking out their diplomats in some instances. shrinking the size of business operations, sometimes kicking them out altogether. that will remove some of the funding that north korea gets, that they funnel into illegal weapons programs. by starving them of that money, that put pressure on north korea. we are having a lot of success with that. you are asking the earlier about the republic of korea and our relationship with them. they took steps, japan took steps. we have seen lots of countries take steps with their own sanctions, or to use our campaign as a jumping off point.
that is what i mean by pressure campaign. >> my question concerns the jcpo , the nuclear deal with iran. the administration has been clear about tryingo, the adminis been clear about trying to renegotiate the nuclear deal. perception onthe the position of the united states that it ought to be scrapped? heather: we have not said that. calls forent contribute to national sick -- international peace and security. that.are some gaps in that is a concern of ours because it does not take into account the destabilizing activities of iran. of the work that they are doing in that region of the world to cause additional
unrest, killings, attacks and things of this nature. i'm not going to debate you. thatu want to talk about more another time, i am happy to. sorry, go ahead. >> on iraq and iran -- heather: may i say that it is great to see you back. you look well rested. [laughter] >> thank you. an iraqi shia militia claimed the u.s. attacked it on the border. it was on the border of iraq and syria. that it killed dozens of its fighters come including members of the revolutionary guard. -- the. has denied pentagon at least. can you explain what happened there? heather: we don't know exactly what happened, but i can tell you this p.m. the reports you
referenced are false. the united states had nothing to do with this. the united states coalition did not conduct any strikes in that area on the date and that time of the alleged attack. isis claimed responsibility for that attack and we had nothing to do with it. thation -- the assertion the coalition is conducting exercises with isis is ridiculous. isis is the enemy of the united states and the enemy of the world. >> sometimes the iranians suggest that. heather: suggest what? >> that the united states is collaborating with isis. want to believe the iranians, you go right ahead. before secretary tillerson
[indiscernible] i wonder, since the framework of the code of conduct of the south china sea, what is your latest assessment of this framework? heather: let me give you information. dprk.is steeped in forgive me if i do not answer your entire question. you bring up the issue of the south china sea. that was another major issue they fbi -- issue talked about asean forum. we welcome the minister's reaffirmation of the importance of freedom of navigation.
we share their concerns over developments that we consider to be an conducive to regional stability, such as land reclamation. an -- -- ase i just want to get the language right, bear with me. as is provided. asean was under tremendous pressure but still held on to its principles. anything beyond that, i can get to later. human rights march issued a arert, saying the israelis stripping jerusalemites of their residency.
are you aware of that forced eviction, if it happens? heather: nice to see you. i always call on you. when you haven't been called on in the past, you have chosen to vent that in public. our reporters typically don't do that. and i want to point out to you that i am calling on you today. thank you for asking the question. i have certainly seen those reports. on this and any judicial case, i will not weigh in on that from the podium. i will refer to you to the government a of israel. happens, forcing them out, that would be tantamount to forced displacement. heather: i would just have to say that we are aware of that report and we will continue to monitor that, but i am not going
to weigh in on every case from here. >> the king of jordan was a great friend of the united states and ally. [indiscernible] they called on the trump administration for a two state solution. do you have any comment on that? heather: i do not. >> you do not have a comment on -- heather: what the king of jordan called on. weigh innot going to on every world leader and what he or she has said about any particular situation. as a general matter, as am sure you know, we talked about this before, regarding a two state solution, the president has talked about this clearly. he has made this a high priority and mr. kirschner and mr. greenblatt have done a lot of traveler of the region over these types of issues. least inong said, at this administration, that whatever solution both parties can agree to, they both have to
be willing to live with and adhere to. >> that's all the question was. the king of jordan isn't just, like, some guy. heather: of course not. he is a very valuable partner and friend. i want to make that clear, as a set of principles here. you all know this. there are lots of people around the world, some are friends, others we don't have as great a relationship with, but i am not going to comment on everything that everybody says. is surely way -- shirley way. that he wouldsaid respond to diplomats by september 1. why is there a deadline to respond? that mean the united states is waiting for russia to change in attitude? action say the
u.s.-russia relationship? lother: we have talked a about this. the u.s. relationship with russia is at a low point. that is no surprise to anybody who sits in this room and comes here often. the secretary had a meeting with his counterpart, with foreign minister lavrov, overseas in this last trip. that low level of trust still exists. continueed they should to find places of agreement where are two nation's capital together. one is in southwest syria in a cease-fire. tot may not seem like a lot some folks around here, but it is an area in which we can work together, try to build trust, and try to find areas of mutual cooperation. in the areas where we do not see i die, the united states will continue to advocate for its -- , thet see eye to eye
united states will continue to advocate for its principles. of the expulsion of u.s. diplomats and citizens working at our embassy, we consider that to be a regrettable step. we have been very clear about that. limiting our diplomatic presence falls in this calls into question russia's seriousness about trying to create a better relationship with the united states. we would like to pursue better relations. we have the channel with tom shannon and his counterpart as well. we would like to have a better relationship with that country, but there is a lot of suspicion on the part, certainly, of americans. >> she asked about the september 1 deadline. isn't that the deadline the russians gave you to reduce your staff? >> the secretary said we will have a response by that time. >> but that's the reason he said you would have a response by september 1, because that is when the russian said you had to -- heather: i'm aware that. thatjust want to make sure
is correct. heather: i do not believe that was picked arbitrarily your anything else on -- arbitrarily. anything else on russia? i guess we're done. oh. you are in trouble with me. ahead.t >> my question is, before going to india, can i go back on the sanctions quickly. heather: on which? on north korea, yes. much been doing too skipping around in region the region. this will be the final question. of course, nikki haley did a great job by bringing the 15 members of the un security council on sanctions.
but how much can we trust china? saying, evenare security from the pentagon, that north korea is the baby of china china to difficult by enforce all these sanctions against north korea. heather: china and russia as well went along with the un security council resolution. china has said that it will enforcing the sanctions. so we look forward to china keeping its word on that. thank you. >> on north korea, you said everyone is singing from the same hymn book. but can you reassure us that they are all singing the same hymn?
some hymn books are pretty big and the hymns can have very different interpretation. heather: i appreciate your point. same.ct stays the the united states and the other countries are first and foremost concern about north korea and the threat that it poses right now. ok, thanks, everybody. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] >> more administration reaction to north korea. jim mattis with his own sharp reaction to the north korean threats of yesterday saying the anyme sued -- should cease actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people. secretary mattis says any action by north korea would be grossly
overmatched by the u.s. and that pyongyang would lose any arms race or conflict it started. meanwhile, the governor of guam issued a statement earlier, following north korean government threats yesterday. here is a look. >> good morning, my dear people of guam. you towe woke up to them the media reports of north korea's talk of revenge on the united states and the so-called newfound technology that allows them to target guam. i am working with homeland security, the rear admiral and the united states to ensure our safety. and i want to reassure the people of guam that, currently, there is no threat to our island or the mary ellis. i spoke with the rear commander who confirmed this with me. security adviser, who is in communications with homeland security and with the department of defense, knows
that there is no change in the threat level resulting from north korean events. a reminds us there are several levels of defense strategically to defend our island and our nation. i reached out to the white house this morning. guam -- an attack or threat on guam is an attack or threat on the united states. i want to assure the -- -- the isernational media that guam american territory. we are not just a military installation. i want to ensure that we are prepared for any eventuality. i will be convening the unified coordination group, which includes myself and the rear admiral, and to discuss the readiness of our military and our local first responders.
my office will continue to provide information to our community. what information we are given we will pass on to you. may god bless the people of guam and may god bless america. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies, and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. tonight at 8:00 eastern, a panel of judges, journalists, and former law clerks review the past supreme court term and what is ahead for the highest court. erwin chemerinsky talks about .he future of roe v. wade if doubtersonally have no
that, if justice kennedy or justice ginsburg or justice are replaced by president trump, roe versus wade will be overruled. a discussionhave about john roberts. -- anythinganyone in john roberts's entire history that leads anyone to believe he would vote to reaffirm roe versus wade. thatnk in areas like this precedent will matter at all to them. >> you can see all of its own beginning at 8:00 eastern on c-span.
thursday andage friday on c-span. eastern, a0:30 a.m. q&a about elections. plus, a look at the 2018 midterm landscape. on friday, when a cut p.m. eastern, a discussion on standing up for working families and embracing progressive values. added 2:30 p.m. eastern, a look at how to win back progressive power through organizing. at four clock p.m. eastern, developing mission statements for the type of society progresses want to see. join us for life coverage for the nextroots nation twice 17 nationnce on c-span -- 2017 conference on c-span. manafort's spokesman said that fbi agents had obtained a